Sunday, October 18, 2015
My blog has always been about YA books and wanting to talk about them. Whether it's crazy plot twists or unbelievable characters or ridiculous endings, the fact is: I read, and I want to talk about them. I want to connect with other readers and be inspired by this community and find meanings and purposes right alongside others.
Then a funny thing happened: I found a wider community, filled with connections and ambitions and doors that lead to exciting, amazing things. Every book blogger can and will tell you how we never expected to find our sisters, our brethren when we started our blogs. It was about the books, and somehow it became a mirror and opportunity to our lives. And it's humbling and brilliant and I am so, so lucky.
But it also got to be a little overwhelming. I started to feel obligated to do things: write a review in a better light, make an appearance at a book signing, do memes or posts since it was the trend. I hope it's clear that I'm not blaming anyone for this -- it was all me. It was all in my head, my own thoughts and insecurities and changes and choices. Nevertheless, I started to change what I was doing. In retrospect I can see the negative path it was leading me on, but at the time, it was all so subtle I didn't realize it. Honestly, it was probably what I needed at that point in my life: structure and rules that still allowed me to feel as though I was being completely creative.
And then it started to take a toll. I didn't want to review a book -- but I had to, since it was a touring one and I only had so many I could say no to after reading. I wanted to talk about something spoiler-y, but knew it wouldn't get as many hits/reads. I hadn't read any books by authors who were visiting San Diego, but I knew I'd be expected at a signing - so I went, and bought books. I only had a few sentences I wanted to say in a review, but one of my touring sites requires at least 3 full paragraphs, so I had to stretch my review and add some inane sentences and muddle my real point. I wanted to talk about what it was in March that limited my time but made me so much happier than I'd ever been--but it wasn't book talk, and that felt like it wasn't allowed.
I hope it's clear I don't regret any of it, but it is the reason this blog fell by the way side any time anything else came up. I thought if I couldn't write that review at least this long and format it just so, then there was no point in putting it up. I met amazing people, amazing bloggers and reviewers and authors and book lovers. I've read books I never, ever thought I'd find or give time to, and I have loved every single moment.
But that was the old me. That was how this blog used to be run.
Now? I'm doing it how I want. If I want to write a review that's only 5 sentences long, I'm going to do it. I'm going to open up about my life and write about me and what's going on with me. Maybe it will be book related--and maybe it won't (GASP!). And I don't know if that's going to make me lose followers or people will be upset that I'm not strictly reviews/bookish memes anymore, but…it's my space, and I feel like I'm a bit lost in all my pages now. And I don't want that at all.
So: changes. Tons and tons of changes. They'll probably be subtle, and it's not like ALL my reviews will suddenly change. I still write with flourish and there are times writing 3 paragraph reviews are me limiting myself. I still read and love YA and want to discuss everything. That remains. It'll just be a bit…different.
And I hope you stick around for it. Because I love you all and want to share this new open side of me.